Lufthansa Premium Economy Fare Sale

In March Lufthansa finally announced that they would be adding a premium economy cabin to some of their longhaul fleet. There has long been a trend in the airline industry whereby airlines cut first class (and in some cases, business class) capacity, and instead install premium economy.

After all, the premium economy seats found on many airlines nowadays are as good as business class seats used to be. And even though the economy is recovering, there’s no doubt those on expense accounts are still more “cost conscious” than pre-recession.

ITB, Premium Economy Sitz

Anyway, yesterday Lufthansa finally began selling premium economy seats for travel starting in December.

What’s the timeline for Lufthansa planes featuring premium economy?

The installation of premium economy will begin later this year, and is scheduled to be completed by the summer of 2015.

Premium economy can now be booked for all flights operated by the Boeing 747-8 starting December 10, 2014. The destinations served by the Boeing 747-8 include the routes from Frankfurt to Buenos Aires, Chicago, Hong Kong, Mexico City, São Paulo, Seoul, Beijing and Washington Dulles.

After that:

  • Starting in late January 2015, the first A340-600 will be reconfigured with premium economy, and will fly from Munich to Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Tokyo
  • Starting in late April 2015, the first A380 will be reconfigured with premium economy, and fly from Frankfurt to Johannesburg, New York, Miami, Houston, San Francisco, Shanghai, and Singapore

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What services will be available to premium economy passengers on the ground?

  • Two free checked bags, weighing up to 50 pounds each (twice the free checked baggage allowance of economy)
  • Premium economy passengers can purchase access to the Lufthansa Business Lounges for $35
  • Premium economy passengers can purchase access to the Lufthansa Welcome Lounge in Frankfurt for 50 Euros
  • Check-in and boarding will be the same as for economy class

What services will be available to premium economy passengers in the air?

  • A welcome drink and bottle of water at every seat
  • An amenity kit with travel accessories
  • Meals will be presented on porcelain tableware
  • 11-12″ TV screens, which are twice the size of the regular economy class screens

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How many miles does it cost to book premium economy on Lufthansa?

As of now it’s not possible to redeem miles — whether they be Miles & More miles or miles from a partner airline — for travel in premium economy. I suspect this will eventually be possible using Miles & More miles, though it may be a while before it’s implemented as Lufthansa tries to gauge demand and optimize pricing.

Lufthansa premium economy fare sale!

Lufthansa is offering a premium economy fare sale for bookings made through June 30, 2014, for travel between December 10, 2014, and March 30, 2015.

Through this fare sale they’re offering 15% off the normal premium economy prices. And the prices for premium economy are really reasonable.

Pulling up prices for some random dates in January between Washington and Frankfurt, the roundtrip premium economy fare is $1,572.32.

Lufthansa-Premium-Economy-Fare-1

Lufthansa-Premium-Economy-Fare-2

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Meanwhile the roundtrip economy fare is $1,387.32.

Lufthansa-Economy-Fare-1

Lufthansa-Economy-Fare-2

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That’s a premium of less than $100 each way for premium economy, which is an absolute bargain.

Bottom line

This seems like a fairly nice premium economy product. Not “industry leading” or anything, but given the prices they’re charging, I’d say a great value. Over time I’m sure premium economy fares will go up, but that they’re even starting at an extra ~$100 each way for a transatlantic flight is exciting.

Would you fly Lufthansa’s new premium economy product? If so, in place of a paid economy or business class class ticket, or in place of a first/business class award ticket?

Comments

  1. In normal cases Premium Economy is not worth the money, and I’m guessing Lufthansa will soon begin charging the same ripoff prices as their outdated Business Class. Since I travel on my own dime I’d much rather look for cheap Business Class fares, which don’t really cost more than most Y+ fares.

    The whole point for paying extra for your fare is to get sleep onboard, and as Y+ isn’t really intended for sleeping I would much rather spend those money on a nice hotel instead.

  2. I’d try it out. My employer doesn’t pay for business class, but they did spring for premium economy on Turkish Airlines. This seems to be quite similar to TK’s offering; if it is, it’s worth a few hundred dollars over regular economy for an 8-10 hour flight.

    In fact, if it’s really as good as TK’s product, and if LH expands it to NY, it might very well become my preferred way to get to Europe when I have to go there for work!

  3. I’d fly this in a heartbeat, as long as I earned United miles. As Lucky points out, it’s been odd to see such a wide gap developing between economy and international business class. These new premium economy products remind me a lot of the international business class I flew a few times as a result of op-ups in college.

  4. TK is in a class of its own when it comes to Premium Economy, no airline will be able to match them. Their fares are actually reasonable, as it’s only a €300 premium over Economy.

  5. I’m surprised they didn’t start with the 380’s given the ridiculous excess capacity they have in business class on them…

  6. I’m taking my first premium economy flight later this year, on OpenSkies. Depending on how that experience goes, I may start trying to book premium econ instead of regular econ for transatlantic paid travel.

    Seems like a good value, though I’m not sure if it will be any easier for me to sleep in premium econ vs regular econ (and for transatlantic travel, that’s one of the most important things).

  7. Yeah, the premium economy seats on TK and CX both look more impressive than these seats do.

  8. Andrew B, premium econ is not for sleeping (unless you are one of those people who can sleep anywhere, in any position — in which case regular economy is fine). It just gives you more room to spread out, and perhaps gives you a slightly higher quality doze. But it’s way too uncomfortable for real sleeping.

  9. 1,600 USD for a non-flexible fare so far in advance is ways too much money. I am not seeing why this would be a ‘great value’.

  10. @ SMK77 — I’m not saying the cost of the ticket itself is a great value, but the premium for premium economy is very reasonable.

  11. @Lucky – Ok, did I miss something ? The real questions to ask are: What is the pitch? What is the seat width? Aren’t these kinda important aspects you’d want to mention? And I’d take issue with the statement that PE is what J used to be…not so much looking at the amount of padding in the photos.

  12. I would also suspect that you will earn more points in the premium economy booking classes than a regular economy booking class. Not only with Miles&More, but possibly also partner airlines.

  13. If they’re selling tickets for PE in December, I assume that’s when they can guarantee it’ll be available on those routes. What’s happening in the meantime? LH is still taking new 748s, and I assume those planes are being delivered with PE installed (wouldn’t make much sense otherwise). Will PE be available intermittently before December, and if so how do you get one of those seats?

  14. Hey Ben, you wrote: “Lufthansa is offering a premium economy fare sale for bookings made through June 30, 2014, for travel between December 10, 2015, and March 30, 2015.”

    Did you mean December 10, 2014?

  15. Interesting to note that the list does not mentions Delhi or Mumbai at all.

    Delhi is right now served via a 748, which is supposed to turn into a daily A380 by winter schedule. Similarly BOM right now gets a 744, which will be turned to 748 soon, and there’s no mention of that as well.

    Any info on that lucky?

  16. For A380s do we know which seats they are converting to Y+? Meaning, are they reducing Y or J?

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